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A Week in Hawaii on a $75,000 Salary

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash. Today: a hotel manager who makes...

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a hotel manager who makes $75,000 per year.

Occupation: Hotel Manager

Age: 42

Location: Hawaii

Salary: $75,000

Day 1


Today started off just about as hectically as any week could start in the travel and tourism business. The hotel I operate had an AC unit break and I started my day by calling the repairman to come over right away. Luckily, there’s a great Hawaii appliance repair company we’ve used in the past. A few months ago one of the refrigerators in our kitchen was acting up as well, but they got it under control fast. They have years of experience and great customer service, so I know I can rely on them. Even though it was a frustrating start to the day, we got the AC up and running without too much of an interruption to the guests. Most of them were out enjoying the island anyway, so that was a relief for me. I treated myself after a stressful day by going out for a drink with the other manager on duty.

Total: $18

Day 2


After the craziness of yesterday, today was a breeze. We had a number of people checking in or out, and I always love to see high success rates and a full hotel. (That may even mean a nice bonus for me come the end of the year!) I love getting to share my personal experience with the guests that are visiting Hawaii for the first time. On the way home, I picked up some groceries to cook dinner for myself and I got some dog food for my puppy. Overall, a chill day.

Total: $45

Day 3


Today was one of my days off, so I got to help my daughter with some of her college applications. The entire process has been crazy for her, so I’m so glad we’ve been relying on a college counselor. These college counseling companies set you up with admissions experts so high school students know exactly what to do with their college essays, resumes, and all that jazz to get into their dream school. I’m so proud of my daughter, and I believe she can get into a top university. Having a college coach is just giving her that extra push to get into the right college, hopefully with a scholarship! Every bit helps from these consulting services, especially if she plans to travel for school. I paid for the hour appointment she had today and it was well worth the money.

Total: $120

Day 4


I’m on the night shift tonight which means lots and lots of coffee! In all honesty, I don’t mind it. I always use it as an excuse to order takeout to the hotel and get to people watch when everyone gets back from their daily adventures.

Total: $24

Day 5


Friday night is still weekly movie night with me and the kids! I took them out to dinner at our favorite seafood place and then we went to check out a classic film at the local cinema. I know they’re getting older, but I hope they never grow out of my favorite family tradition!

Total: $102

Day 6


Saturday mornings are always when I go to the local farmers market before I get ready for surfing lessons. It’s still embarrassing that I’ve been living in Hawaii for 15 years and can’t surf very well. But my instructor does a great job every week, so I’m always sure to throw him a bit of a tip on top of the price of lessons.

Total: $51

Day 7


Today was another busy day at work. Sundays are when a lot of people check out from the hotel, so we had our cleaning staff working extra hard. I brought in donuts as a treat for everyone since I knew it would be a busy day. When I got home, it was a Netflix and pizza night as I get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

Total: $42

Weekly Total: $402



Staff Writer
Hometown: Galway, Ireland

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